During his weekly appearance on The Big Show Monday afternoon, Patriots nose tackle Vince Wilfork said this year's team has mental toughness that he feels was lacking in previous seasons. New England can secure home-field advantage throughout the playoffs with a victory in Foxboro against Buffalo on Sunday. Last year, the Pats earned the top seed as well, but were upset in the divisional round by the Jets.
"I think we have a different ball club [this season],” Wilfork said. “We can't look at last year or the year before. This ball club that I have now, is a tough football team and we haven't had that in years past. Whatever happens on the field, they will not shell, not panic, lose concentration or focus. I'm excited about this week getting started, and if I'm feeling this way, I'm pretty sure everyone else is because this team is an amazing team when it comes down to character.
“This team went through a lot this year, ups and downs, and no one pointed the figure,” he continued. “We all came in each week and said we have to get better, we have to improve. That's our game plan each week, we have to improve. After this, it's a one-game season. We have to put all of our eggs in one basket.”
Wilfork lauded the resilience and mental toughness put on display against the Dolphins this past weekend, something he said never waned.
“I never thought from the sideline we were going to lose the game [against Miami],” Wilfork said. “I never thought guys gave up. Never once this year have I thought that. This team is a classy team. Being down 17-0, a lot of teams would have packed it in. I looked around and didn't see panic, and didn't see anybody yelling at one another."
Although, later on, Wilfork admitted the team cannot afford to dig itself into holes and, this week against the Bills, must start trusting its preparation as the competition gets harder.
“[We have to] start fast and make plays early,” he said. “[Not] wait until we need a play or until we're down. [Sometimes] we see things but we don't trust. We don't trust our technique, film we watch and our instincts. At some point we have to trust ourselves to make plays. Sometimes you're going to have to take the ball away. Sometimes I feel like we're scared to make a play on the ball. When we do that we'll be happy with the outcome.
“The teams we're going to be playing, starting this week against Buffalo, are not slouches,” Wilfork said. “Buffalo has beaten us already this year and [after that] the teams that we're going to be playing are in the playoffs for a reason. We have to match the intensity starting this week. We can't wait until the postseason, it doesn't work that way.”
The three-time Pro Bowler said the Patriots have yet to play a “complete” game. “Not once have we played 60 minutes of complete football,” he said. “I want to see how that looks, to play a complete 60 minutes as the New England Patriots. We have yet to do it. We've played three quarters and 55 minutes, but we haven't played 60 minutes. It's a great time to start this week.”
Wilfork echoed Tom Brady's claim Monday morning on Dennis & Callahan that team improvement and performance are more important than seeding. “[A bye week is] not important,” Wilfork said. “A week off didn't do us justice [last season]. I don't care, I just want to be able to get better as a football team.”
For more Patriots news, go to the team page at weei.com/patriots.
-- RYAN HADFIELD
Dale, Michael and Jerry dig into the details of this draft for the Patriots with ESPN's Mike Reiss.
Giardi and Price discuss the Tom Brady appeal getting overturned and Roger Goodell's victory tour. The guys can't believe the victory lap and some of his behavior. The more you listen to him, the more frustrating his behavior becomes.
Giardi and Price break down how the teams in the AFC East altered their futures after the NFL Draft weekend.
Danny Ainge joins Glenn and Christian to explain the Celtics draft process; and he also discusses the trade rumors that permeated the night.
Mut is flying solo the last hour, but he's giving reaction and analysis as the Celtics draft a power forward out of France by the name of Guerschon Yabusele and getting some early grades for the Celtics
Mut and Kirk are talking more about the Celtics pick of Jaylen Brown and can't seem to find anyone who thinks it's a good pick or can make a case for why the Celtics took him third overall.
We check in with the manager of the Boston Red Sox, John Farrell joins us live from Tampa for our weekly update on all things Sox.
Eduardo Rodriguez and the Sox stumbled in their 13-7 loss to the Rays. Mut recaps the game and takes your calls on all things Boston baseball.
Christian recaps the Red Sox 6-2 loss to the Rangers.
DJ and Pete continue to assess the season that was for the Bruins and look toward the future for the franchise and how they can improve.
DJ and Pete are together for the final Sunday Skate of the season. They get into their overall thoughts on the season, the Bruins keeping Claude Julien on as head coach and the end-of-season press conferences last week. They discuss the rebuild process, what the Bruins need and how they can obtain it. Plenty of callers have their own theories and opinions on all of these topics as well.
Butch is joined by two-thirds of the Sunday Skate show in DJ and Pete. The guys discuss the problems with Bruins including leadership and grit, who should stay and who should go and if Claude is to blame.
Things got a little scattered in the 9am hour of D&C as the guys discuss the Chinese Dog Eating Festival, a breast feeding 'man', and a little Celtics talk too as the Durant Sweepstakes continue.
It's somewhat of a rarity on D&C, but the phone lines were open on Tuesday as the Kirk Minihane haters and MiniFans alike called in take him on.
A busy Tuesday headlines with Tim Tebow praying with a family on a plane, and Elizabeth Warren teaming up with Hillary Clinton on the road. Plus, another Minihane Masturbation Minute
After an embarrassing outing last night, Angry Lou rips into Eduardo Rodriguez, who seems to not realize that he needs more than two pitches in the big leagues.
Angry Lou is angry at Red Sox manager John Farrell, who is misusing his roster and didn't give Xander Bogaerts a night off last night, even though they made a roster move for a back-up shortstop.
Angry Lou is still rolling, and this time he focuses his anger at Dave Dombrowski for not getting a left fielder during the off season and for general bad roster construction.
Inspired by the tease of being great that Eduardo Rodriguez showed us in the past, we look at four other Sox players that had similar teases.
We close out Dale and Holley with the best soundbites of the day.
Former Celtics General Manager Jan Volk joins Kirk Minihane for a discussion that any Celtics fan will love. Kirk and Jan talk about the legendary 85/86 Celtics and how the team was constructed and of course the decision to draft Len Bias and his tragic death.
Kirk Minihane sits down with John Tomase to talk about the current political landscape, John's desire to write about social issues, and of course Spygate is discussed.
Kirk Minihane is joined by one of his radio heroes, Artie Lange. They discuss everything from Artie's comedy career, his time with Howard Stern, his issues with drugs and prostitutes, and the comedy show to benefit slain Officer Ronald Tarentino Jr.
Jerry Thornton and "Uncle Buck" Adam Cormack break down the greatest season finale of all-time, the season 6 finale of Game of Thrones. Jerry and Uncle Buck debate if this season was the greatest season in television history.
Ben, Russ & Alex recap the 4-0 loss the USMNT suffered to Argentina in the COPA America Centenario semifinal. Then they catch up with the EURO's, and recap if their predicted winners are still in the tournament.
It's quite the Sporty R. McKenzie 8am hour as the guys muscle through Red Sox trade possibilities.More from this show
Gerry Callahan has been invited to Donald Trump's upcoming Wednesday fundraiser. Should he go? Is Trump in trouble per the latest polls?More from this show
Kirk Minihane's Monday 'Headlines' including Bill Clinton's jogging list, Pope Francis apologizing in Italian, and Ray Bourque's DWI apologyMore from this show